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bobhopefan1940

~ The Sand Man ~ (Fred Astaire Favorites)

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Some one mentioned starting a thread just for Astaire, so here it goes!

 

I've got the Fred Astaire bug tonight... Please don't just say you love Fred Astaire (who wouldn't?), tell me some favorite moments... movies... dances... lines... photos... ect.

 

One of my favorite Fred Astaire moments happens in Shall We Dance when Rogers sings her verse in "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off." I love when she says, "You say oysters, and I say urrsters..." I love the look on Astaire's face! It's close to the same look as in Easter Parade when he sings "Snookiookums..." Did I mention he's adorable? When I think of the "urrsters" line I always smile. I put in one of his films when I'm feeling down... :)

 

bhf1940

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I like the real Fred Astaire in "The Towering Inferno", when he was looking at the fake bonds he planned to sell to Jennifer Jones. From what I heard in real life he pinched a nickel so hard he made the Buffalo on it scream in pain. He used to throw quarters around like they were manhole covers. He would make his money deposits in Jack Benny's vault next to Fred MacMurray's account.

 

Bartlett

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Another favorite in common! :) I just love Freddy. In fact, when I first started ballet in earnest as a kid my admiration for him was so boundless that I dreamed of dancing with him one day (then he died and I have never before or since cried over the passing of someone I never met---not even Frank's passing hit me that hard). Anyway, pathetic story aside, I have always thought he was one of the greatest dancers in all the world. Mikhail Baryshnikov agrees with me---rather, he has said that Fred was THE greatest dancer. ;)

 

I love Funny Face when he dances with the cape and cane like a Matador...and in Daddy Long Legs when he woos Leslie Caron on the terrace to "Something's Got to Give"....sigh. He had a marvelous, self-deprecating sense of humor mixed with cockiness (especially in Follow the Fleet) which made him so funny as well as that romantic way of dancing with his partners that overcame his less-than looks.

 

He's just wonderful, in short, and if you haven't seen his interview (performance, really) on Dick Cavett's show, then rent the dvd. He gets the loudest and longest applause I heard on any of the episodes. A truly modest man, by the way.

 

Miss G

 

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MissGoddess

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Don't feel bad about crying... I cried when the Croc Hunter died. :(

 

Isn't it something how Fred Astaire always smiles when he dances with his partners? He always looked so pleasant with them... I have never seen Daddy Long Legs but have heard alot about it. Would love to see it! I hope it shows up on the schedule soon... But did see Follow the Fleet and loved that one... But I think the little monkey stole the show!

 

bhf1940

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Hee! The monkey was a scene stealer.

 

You might really enjoy Daddy Long Legs; I think The Fox Movie Channel airs that one now and then. Did you enjoy the rest of Charade?

Miss G

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Did you enjoy the rest of Charade?

 

Terribly. It is one of my all time favorites already... Cary Grant stepped up a notch in my book with this one. And I hate 60's films! I even enjoyed the "nostalgic" feel of this movie (esp. the opening credits), everything just works together perfectly. *spoiler* I love the fact that the whole time we are loving Cary Grant for being the tough, bad guy when he's really a good guy all along.

 

I saw the first hour, and can't help but love the scene where Grant tries to get the ball from under the older woman's neck. Of course, how can you not love his showering with all of his clothes on :x

 

bhf1940

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Hi!

 

I have so many favorite scenes from Charade...and speaking of that one of the orange-passing scene, we had to do that as an "exercise" to break the ice in an acting class once! Let me tell you, it's a quick way to get to know people! :):)

 

I have a bit of trivia about the scene where she drops the ice-cream on his beautiful suit. When Audrey first met Cary it was at the start of this movie. Stanley Donen set up a lunch and Audrey was noticably nervous during the entire meal (even Audrey Hepburn gets excited over meeting Cary Grant) that when dessert came---ice cream---she knocked it over into his lap!! Stanley decided to put it in the movie.

 

Miss G

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How interesting Grant shows up in a thread about Astaire. It so happens that I think these two men "wore" clothes like no other stars. They both looked perfect in tuxedos. They wore suits and even casual wear (for its day) so well. Fred was awfully thin but that accentuated his body lines in his suits. Can you see Fred in a pair of jeans? We can see Cary in jeans (Monkey Business) and his underwear (Walk, Don't Run) and he still looks too good.

 

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Me

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Miss G said:

 

I have so many favorite scenes from Charade...and speaking of that one of the orange-passing scene, we had to do that as an "exercise" to break the ice in an acting class once! Let me tell you, it's a quick way to get to know people!

 

So is that what that was?! It looked like a rubber ball! Wow... Looked to me like Cary Grant got to know that blonde woman in that scene better than Audrey Hepburn for the whole rest of the movie! *lol*

 

Thanks for that bit of trivia... That was so cute! I think Cary Grant was more attractive as an older gent than in any other period of his life.

 

As for Fred Astaire ~ I forgot to mention one of my favorite dance sequences of him is in Second Chorus, "I Can Dig It." I've never seen the movie, but watched the vid off of YouTube.

 

bhf1940

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That was so adorable! He even makes Paulette look like a good dancer. She look great with him. I definitely would love to see this movie. Thank you for posting the link.

 

Miss G

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If you'd like to see Fred in blue jeans, check out Let's Dance with Betty Hutton. In a number that I hate called "Oh, Them Dudes," he and Betty portray cowboys who are angry that the city slickers are square dancin'. But he looks fine in the jeans, as do most lanky men.

 

Fred's such a string bean that he looks taller than he was (5'9"). I think he would have made a great cowboy in a real western (no, I don't count The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again). He'd be the one they all called "Slim."

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I know this is probably a gauche opinion from the perspective of Fred's fans (or Ginger's, for that matter), but I like Fred best with Ginger, and vice-versa. Don't get me wrong ... I love them both individually, too. They never had much acting to do in their musical comedies, so it's great to see Fred in On the Beach and the other rare film e.g. The Towering Inferno in which he got to display his dramatic acting talent. But there is just something about their chemistry together that is priceless to me.

 

I don't say that either was the best dancer ... (well okay, maybe I WOULD say that about Fred!) ... but I think they were the best singing/dancing partnership ever. Physically, I think they were perfectly matched, with Ginger being just a touch shorter than Fred and so straight-lined, long-faced, and narrow-hipped like him. I think their singing voices were pretty much perfectly matched. And their comic synergy was perfect ... although it seemed a little lessened in The Barkleys of Broadway, which was cute but a relative dud (in my view) compared to their other musicals. (Maybe it was partly the Technicolor.)

 

I dunno, I love a lot of movies and famous screen couples, but I'm pretty cynical and never find myself wanting to actually BELIEVE in a screen couple's romantic chemistry as much as I do with Fred and Ginger. Thoughts, anyone?

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Hi pintorini----Fred and Ginger were a very special pairing indeed. They just create magic when they dance together, and those spectacular black-and-white deco settings complemented them perfectly. Their movies together are stand-aparts any way you look at it, as far as romantic teams, musicals, comedies, fantasies, et al.

 

Miss G

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The argument I make in the class I teach about Astaire's work is that the magic of his partnership with Rogers and others is that he WAS a great actor, even in the fluffiest of his musicals. Not in the same way that someone like Laurence Olivier or Ben Kingsley is a great actor, but within the dancing that FA did, he always convincingly expressed some kind of emotion: joy or pain or longing--or even some subtle combination. The reason his dances with Rogers were particularly poignant is that they both let the world of their romance show in their faces and gestures as they danced. I'd also argue that they do some serious acting outside of the musical numbers in their movies together, notably during Swing Time, Carefree and The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle.

 

It is said that the reason most every woman dreamed of dancing with Fred Astaire is that Ginger Rogers made it seem like the most rapturous experience imaginable!

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How marvelous that you teach a class about Fred Astaire! I'd love to see the syllabus on that one! ;)

Sign me up. :)

 

Miss G

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pintorini said:

 

... although it seemed a little lessened in The Barkleys of Broadway, which was cute but a relative dud (in my view) compared to their other musicals. (Maybe it was partly the Technicolor.)

 

I agree 100%. I watched it last night and just couldn't make it all the way through. I never liked the ones where they were already married, anyway... The only place that worked for me was in The Thin Man series (lol, but that's another thread, isn't it?) The same goes for The Castles movie...

 

Miss G!

 

Glad you liked the clip... One of my Astaire favorites. I was a bit worried the film they named didn't exist, you can't always trust the info you get on YouTube ;) I also didn't believe it was Paulette Goddard, because I didn't know she could dance!

 

bhf1940

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> How marvelous that you teach a class about Fred

> Astaire! I'd love to see the syllabus on that one!

> ;)

> Sign me up. :)

 

Me too!!! :) Ayers, I never thought about that before, what you say about Fred's face imparting all those emotions, and Ginger's too ... but now that I think about it, it's exactly right. Of course they were both acting, and superbly, in their musical comedies - especially in the dance scenes! They make it look effortless ... but more than that, they make it look like it's the most rapturous thing in the world to do!!! :D Hurray, I have learned something, and without even paying tuition. ;)

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